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The House at Riverton: A Novel by Kate…

The House at Riverton: A Novel (original 2006; edition 2009)

by Kate Morton

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4,0072131,277 (3.86)320
Title:The House at Riverton: A Novel
Authors:Kate Morton
Info:Washington Square Press (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 473 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:gothic novel, fiction, England, WWI, ebook

Work details

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (2006)

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    A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: There is a passage in The Shifting Fog which describes the relationship between Hannah and Emmeline as a "string that bends, it will eventually snap and the points will separate; if elastic, they will continue to part, further and further, until the strain reaches its limits and they are pulled back with such speed that they cannot help but collide with devastating force." In The Dark-Adapted Eye, the sisters are Vera and Eden whose inexplicably interdependent-but-destructive relationship embody the aforementioned elastic string. The story is told from the perspective of their niece who accompanies the reader on the events leading up to the devastation.… (more)

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» See also 320 mentions

English (199)  Spanish (4)  Norwegian (3)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All (1)  All (213)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
ok story. never felt like Grace and Hannah ever got close or that I knew Hannah's character well. Certainly not enough to warrant Grace's loyalty to Hannah. The mystery part was good, but there wasn't enough story that held any interest for me while I waited to find out how it was would be solved. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
What a haunting book. The choices we make, and the life it defines. I was mesmerized, drawn into another world. And the ending. Ach. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
Kate Morton’s The Shifting Fog, also published as The House at Riverton, is the story of two sisters, Hannah and Emmeline, and the secret they share. The story is told from the point of view of their housemaid, Grace, now 98 years old, whose memories are sparked by a film director intent on making a film about the manor house at Riverton and the events that led to the tragic death of a young poet in the summer of 1924.
Morton masterfully captures the essence of the Edwardian age, evoking images of the glitter and extravagances of the upper class, as well as the drudgery of the working and living conditions of those ‘in service’, and effectively conveys the attitudes and mindset of the various characters.
Grace is a likeable character, especially in her 98-year-old self. There are times, however, when it seems that she is lurking in the background for the sole purpose of seeing and telling the story of Hannah and Emmeline. Her fascination for the two sisters, and their brother David, seems to start as an only child’s yearning for the company of others her age, and a fascination for the types of games they play that were never a part of her lower-class upbringing. However it soon becomes an obsession that continues into adulthood as a fixation on and loyalty to Hannah that is somewhat unbelievable in the sacrifices she makes.
The mystery is alluded to throughout the book, but does not really start to unravel until the second half of the book. At that point the pace picks up, accelerating to what seems a preordained climax, fated in the way of classic tragedies by misunderstandings, misguided loyalty, untold secrets and an inability to halt the inevitable.
Overall an enjoyable read for those who love historical mystery, romance and the unshakable tragedy of secret love triangles.
Review first published on my blog. To see this and other reviews go to http://sonyaspreenbates.wordpress.com . ( )
  ssbates | Mar 10, 2017 |
I liked this book for the historical details of a wealthy family in England in the early 1900s with their household of servants. The story is told from the perspective of one of those servants. I enjoy books that send me to the dictionary, and this one did. A few of the turns in the story can be guessed, but many won't be revealed ahead of time. And yet, the author chooses to tell the story in an unusual way by revealing certain details ahead of time, and the story of each often comes later.

The writing was nicely done and the story was rich with characters. The twist at the end of the story wasn't quite believable to me in that Hannah had other options instead of what took place. The rest of the story seemed very believable to me. The author is very good at providing clear pictures of expressions, body movements, and small details that make the story seem natural. I'd guess quite a bit of research went into the book as well. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
I'm in a mouldering-family-in-mouldering-house kick. This story takes place in a time that is increasingly interesting to me; the time after WWI when a generation of men came back to their families changed and broken men. It also examines themes of memory, service, women's roles and the dawn of the Jazz Age. More affecting than I expected. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Breuer, CharlotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernández Jiménez, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Davin, who holds my hand on the roller-coaster
First words
Last November I had a nightmare.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published in Australia as "The Shifting Fog." Name changed to "The House at Riverton" for publication in the UK and US.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A story of love, mystery, and a secret history revealed. Summer 1924. On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999. Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid at Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories-long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind-begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.
Haiku summary
Secrets aplenty
In the house at Riverton.
All will be revealed.

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(see all 2 descriptions)

Grace Bradley went to work at Riverton House as a servant when she was just a girl, before the First World War. For years her life was inextricably tied up with the Hartford family, most particularly the two daughters, Hannah and Emmeline. In the summer of 1924, at a glittering society party held at the house, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline and only they--and Grace--know the truth. In 1999, when Grace is ninety-eight years old and living out her last days in a nursing home, she is visited by a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer. She takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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